Ali Tauchen has been a playmaker for Griffon volleyball for the past three years.
Tauchen started on varsity in high school for all four years. In her junior year of high school, she tore her ACL. This affected the number of offers she had gotten from many colleges. One college that never lost interest in her was Missouri Western.
“This place felt like the right fit for me with the community atmosphere, along with the athletics, and the faculty made me feel at home,” Tauchen said.
The first year Tauchen came to Missouri Western, she played a major role in helping the volleyball team win the MIAA Championship against the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Ever since earning MIAA Freshman of the Year, she has garnered multiple academic and athletic MIAA achievements while making 1st Team All MIAA last year.
Tauchen excels in the classroom as well. She’s earned an MIAA Academic Honor Roll award every year she has been in college.
Her coach, Marian Carbin, said her hard work and dedication in the classroom are easily transferred to the court.
“Off the court, she’s obviously a very talented student, but then on the court, she’s a really great leader and teammate,” Carbin said.
Every day at practice, the team has to set up the nets and then tear them down after practice. One of the harder parts of this job is moving the poles. Tauchen is always the first one to move these 60-pound poles around every practice.
Carbin is thrilled with how she steps up and helps the team.
“She just leads in that way; she’s always willing to do whatever it takes,” Carbin said. “She knows what needs to be done and she’ll do it.”
Her teammate, Lindsey Hartline expressed Tauchen’s best attributes.
“Ali stands out as the leader and it really helps us get everybody ready for our season,” Hartline said.
Tauchen’s work ethic is recognized by her coaches also.
“Ali is very self-motivated,” Carbin said. “She doesn’t require a lot of pushing to try to get her to work hard.”
One thing that makes Tauchen stand out is that she’s the only 6th rotation middle blocker in the league. This unique position plays their position but also stays in the entire back row. Tauchen shows how versatile she is by playing this position.
“She can literally do whatever we ask her to do at any position on the court,” Carbin said.
This year, the volleyball team's fall season was canceled and is expected to proceed in the spring.
“We’ve just been practicing for now,” Tauchen said.